This Sunday Idalys Ortiz was confirmed as the main figure of Cuban judo, when she won the silver medal at the Osaka Grand Slam, Japan, and reaffirmed herself as a leader in the world ranking in her category.
Ortiz (+78 kg) only relented in the tournament’s finals against local Akira Sone, her victimizer in the Tokyo World Championship three months ago. Sone defeated the Cuban by waza-ari in golden rule, to tip the balance even further in her favor (3-1) in the fight between the two and to launch her candidacy for the Olympic title next year.
— Judo (@Judo) November 24, 2019
Ortiz, on the other hand, saved Cuba from leaving Osaka empty-handed―the Cuban team finally came in ninth in the table of medals―and, as she did in the World Championship, she won the only medal for the island. In order to reach the finals, she defeated Chinese Fanfan Liang, Dutch Tessie Savelkouls and Brazilian Beatriz Souza, after being in bye in the first round, according to the newspaper Granma.
Now Ortiz―Olympic title holder in London 2012 and silver in Rio 2016―leads the world ranking with 8,940 points and the Olympic ranking with 6,330 points, respectively. With her silver in the Grand Slam, she added 700 points that will allow her to stay at the top, although closely followed by Sone and also the Japanese Sarah Asahina.
The stellar judoka has had a great 2019, in which she prevailed in the Paris and Dusseldorf Grand Slams, in the Grand Prix of Hohhot and Budapest and in the Lima Pan American Games, and retained her world subtitle in Tokyo. This year she still has the Qingdao Masters, China, from December 12 to 14.
This Sunday, Kaliema Antomarchi also competed for Cuba in Osaka, finishing seventh in the 78 kg, while among the men Iván Silva in 90 kg and Andy Granda in +100 did not reach the quarterfinals and could not score points for the world ranking.
Aside from Ortiz, the best Cuban performance was starred by Maylín del Toro (63 kg), who finished fifth after losing in the discussion for the bronze and rising to the seventh position in the world ranking and fourth in the Olympic one.
Antomarchi and Onix Cortés also came in in fourth place in the 42nd position, while among the men Iván Silva ranks second, Magdiel Estrada occupies 24th position, Andy Granda 27th, and Osniel Solís 44th, as the most advanced for the island.